The owner of the site of Fruitfield Jam Factory in Richhill has said there is “no way” that the iconic red brick chimney will be knocked down amid potential development work.
The Armagh I newsletter recently sparked the debate about what is to become of the factory, as we reported that groundworks had commenced on the site, with diggers spotted in the area in recent months.
In light of recent speculation, Rodney Williamson, the owner of the site of Fruitfield Jam Factory, spoke exclusively to Armagh I to set the record straight around his plans for the site.
Mr Williamson stated categorically that the chimney and the surrounding buildings would not be coming down, but that it was his intention to develop the site and build commercial buildings at the site.
However, he explained that these development plans are in a preliminary stage.
“I definitely wouldn’t be taking the chimney down, and the buildings around the chimney, I’m not taking them down either,” he said. “I’m going to renovate them in some way, but I don’t know what I want to do with them yet.”
He added: The chimney and the two buildings around it are all that’s left. We’re not knocking them down. We’re definitely keeping them. That’s a definite.
“The chimney is not going to be touched.”
On June 8, we reported that a significant investment was planned by Mr Williamson near Richhill, not far from the site of Fruitfield Jam Factory.
The proposals were submitted to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for four new light industrial units to be built on a site on the Battlehill Road.
The plans for the four rental units – for light manufacturing and storage purposes – would bring a small number of jobs when completed and occupied.
Three of the planned units would measure 30ft by 50ft, with the fourth and largest being 40ft by 60ft. The area would be securely surrounded by fencing.